Sculpture, Olmec Man
A male figure in polished green serpentine or jade. This sculpture has its origins in the Olmec civilisation, the most ancient in Mesoamerica. Carvings left by Olmec masons suggest a society based on centralized political and religious authority. Distinctive features of carvings include many of those exibited in this statue, such as snarling mouth and prominent thick upper liip, toothless gums, bent legs, a flat nose and a proportionally large and bald head with cranial deformations. This figure is similar to those found in an elaborate burial at the formative site, La Venta. This example differs in its apparent mutilation of the arms and head, a practice commonly related to the abandonment of Olmec sites.